又中又英——shimmying

  Last week, the international and local English language media used several words to describe the situation at the Polytechnic University. They all used the words “siege”, “besiege”, “blockade”, and “stand-off”. Some media also used the word “shimmying”. These words, especially the slang word “shimmying”, are seldom used by local Hong Kong people. The noun “siege” means surrounding a place so neither people nor supplies can go in or out. Armies sometimes surround the places of their enemies to stop them from escaping and to prevent food getting in. The verb of “siege” is “besiege”. Hong Kong and foreign English media said the police had besieged the Polytechnic University to stop protesters from escaping and to stop their supporters from going in.

  The word “blockade” can be used either as a noun or a verb and is similar to “siege” or “besiege”. It means to block a place or country so nothing can get in or out. For example, the US blockaded Cuba during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis when the former Soviet Union put nuclear missiles in Cuba. The Soviet Union removed the missiles when the late US President John Kennedy warned of a nuclear war. The word “stand-off” means when two sides cannot agree on something and neither side can win unless one side agrees to the conditions of the other side. The word “shimmy” is a kind of dance in which the whole body shakes. But it can also mean quickly climbing up or down a rope or a pole.

  Some protesters inside the Polytechnic University escaped by shimmying down a rope to the ground level where supporters with motorcycles took them to safety. News reports said about 100 protesters escaped by shimmying down a rope to be rescued by supporters with motorcycles. You can see the video of this escape on social media. It is like a movie. I have to admit young Hong Kong protesters are very brave. Some of them found a way to escape from the police siege.

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  上星期,國際及本地的英文媒體用了幾個字去形容理工大學的處境,他們全都用了“siege”、“besiege”、“blockade”和“stand-off”這些字。另外,有些傳媒也用了“shimmying”一字。這些字,尤其是俚語“shimmying”,鮮為本地香港人所用。名詞siege解作圍困,人或物資都不能進出某地。有時候軍隊會包圍敵人的陣地,阻止他們逃脫,又或斷其糧食補給。Siege的動詞是besiege。香港和外國的英語媒體說,警方圍困(besieged)了理工大學,阻截示威者逃走,亦阻止他們的支持者進內。

  Blockade一字則可作名詞或動詞用,跟siege或besiege類似。它的意思是封鎖某地或某國,無一物能進出。譬如,一九六二年古巴導彈危機期間,前蘇聯在古巴部署了導彈時,美國就封鎖了(blockaded)古巴。當美國總統甘迺廸警告會有核戰危機時,蘇聯就撤走了導彈。Stand-off是指僵持的局面,雙方在某一事情上爭持不下,無人得勝,除非其中一方願意接受對方的條件。Shimmy是需要全身扭動的肚皮舞,但它也可以指沿着繩子或柱快速爬上或滑落。

  一些理工大學內的示威者,游繩(shimmying down a rope)逃至地面,有駕駛電單車的支持者接應,載他們逃至安全地方。新聞報道說,大約有一百名示威者以游繩(shimmying down a rope)的方式逃脫,由駕電單車的支持者所營救。你可以在社交網站上看到這次逃逸的影片,活像電影的場景。我必須承認,香港年輕示威者真的非常勇敢。他們有些人找到了逃離警方圍困(siege)的方法。中譯:七刻mickchug@gmail.com

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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